Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Browse by Decade
Amazonian
More Ads?

Ads

Search
Ads

Amazon Fun

Navigation

Entries in internet (28)

Wednesday
Feb252009

The Electronic Home (circa 1988)


Ameritech's (late 1980s) concept video The Electronic Home envisions the futuristic world of HDTV and videophone, as well as internet-like services that allow you to make restaurant reservations (at a cartoonishly stereotypical Italian restaurant), shop for kimonos (because your shirt is made of giant playing cards), or buy a house (with your Atari joystick).

 


This rather primitive, closed-network system is not unlike the one we saw in the 1993 AT&T concept video, Connections. While I wasn't able to find a specific date for this video, it does use footage from the 1987 GTE concept video Classroom of the Future, so we'll call it "circa 1988" until we learn otherwise.

 

I'm not an expert on telecommunications law or history, so I can't give the necessary background information to understand Ameritech's motives in this video. But it's pretty clear this video was intended to influence people in power to let Ameritech (now AT&T Midwest) establish a communications network it didn't feel it was able to provide at the time. In other words, look it up and get back to me. I'm talking to you, media-tech nerds!

Previously on Paleo-Future:
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (1993)
GTE's Classroom of the Future (1987)
Motorola's 2000 A.D. (1990)
Pacific Bell Concept Video (1991)
Flowers by Alice (1992)
Apple's Knowledge Navigator (1987)
Apple's Grey Flannel Navigator (1988)
Vision (Clip 1, 1993)
Vision (Clip 2, 1993)
Vision (Clip 3, 1993)
Starfire (1994)

Thursday
Feb052009

But the Internet has no Dewey decimal system... (1995)

With search engines acting as such a necessary tool for internet use in 2009, we sometimes must remind ourselves that they did not come pre-packaged with cyberspace.

The 1997 book Predicting the Future looked at past and contemporary predictions of the future and assessed their accuracy. A 1995 prediction by Bill Gates about "the internet as a self-publishing medium" was met with great skepticism due to the lack of editors and, believe it or not, a Dewey decimal system on the web. An excerpt from the book appears below:

The lack of an equivalent to the Dewey decimal system on the Internet is a different matter. While it is true that experienced Internet users can eventually find what they're looking for, [Clifford] Stoll and other critics insist that it takes more expertise and time than Internet enthusiasts are willing to admit. This point of contention may eventually be answered by software developments that are still just blips on the horizon. But such a development, according to many experts, including both Internet boosters and doubters, is likely to have to await a formalized method for paying royalties to those who self-publish on the Internet. Bill Gates is sure this can be managed down the line, but as things stand there are still vast legal tangles to be resolved concerning payment to original authors whose work is published by major companies, let alone compensation for self-publishing.


Previously on Paleo-Future:
The Internet? Bah! (1995)
The Answer Machine (1964)
Bill Gates on Charlie Rose (1996)

 

Thursday
Apr032008

"Broadband" by Australia Telecom (1992)

Wednesday
Apr022008

Computer Games of the Future (1981)


This holographic computer game of the future is from the 1981 book Tomorrow's Home by Neil Ardley.

The caption explains, "A home computer game of the future has solid images of spaceships that move in midair. These are holographic images produced by laser beams. The game is played with other people who also sit at their home computers and see the same images. Each player controls a ship and tries to destroy the other ships. Guess which player is winning!"

The entire text of this two-page spread appears below.

Your day in the future continues. It's not a school day, so you can do whatever you like. However, it's raining, so you can't play outside. Although scientists can now control the weather, this is done only in certain places to produce artificial climates that aid farming. Your home is not one of these places.

 

Even though everyone is busy and you're stuck at home on your own, you're still going to have an exciting and interesting day. After breakfast, you rush on to the living room. It has chairs and other furniture in new designs as well as some antiques like a twentieth-century digital clock and a push-button telephone. However, the room is dominated by a large viewscreen linked to the home computer.

You ask the computer to contact several friends, and they begin to appear on the screen. Soon you're linked into a worldwide group of people, all of whom can talk to and see each other. After chatting for a while, you decide to play some games together. As you can't agree on what to play, the computer makes up your minds for you. It gives you puzzles to do and devises quizzes, as well as all kinds of electronic games. The computer keeps the scores as you play against one another, and then it gives you games in which you all play the computer. You carry on until someone loses interest and tries to cheat for fun. The computer finds out and everyone laughs. Then it's time to break up the party and have lunch.

After lunch you decide to spend some time on your own at a hobby or craft you particularly enjoy. Making things of all kinds is easy with the computer. You design them on the screen of the terminal in your playroom, and then the computer operates a machine that constructs the objects in materials such as plastics. This system is very good for making your own clothes. You can dress up in all kinds of fantastic garments that you design yourself. To avoid waste, the objects and clothes can be fed back into the machine and the materials recycled or used again.


See also:
Future Arcade Games (1985)
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (Part 3, 1993)
Virtual Reality (1980s-today)
Homework in the Future (1981)
Home Entertainment of the Future (1981)
Learning in 1999 A.D. (1967)

 

Thursday
Mar272008

The Internet? Bah! (1995)

Waxy.org has a link to a February 27, 1995 Newsweek article stating that this whole Internet thing is a bunch of hype. Author Clifford Stoll proclaims, "no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works." You can read the piece in its entirety here. Excerpts appear below.

Every voice can be heard cheaply and instantly [on the Internet]. The result? Every voice is heard. The cacophany more closely resembles citizens band radio, complete with handles, harrasment, and anonymous threats. When most everyone shouts, few listen.

 

. . . Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we'll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.

These expensive toys are difficult to use in classrooms and require extensive teacher training. Sure, kids love videogames--but think of your own experience: can you recall even one educational filmstrip of decades past?

We're promised instant catalog shopping--just point and click for great deals. We'll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obselete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet--which there isn't--the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople.


See also:
The Answer Machine (1964)

 

Wednesday
Mar192008

Australia Telecom's Broadband (Part 3, 1992)


Today we have the third and final installment of the 1992 Australia Telecom concept video, Broadband. Enjoy.

 


 

See also:
Australia Telecom's Broadband (Part 1, 1992)
Australia Telecom's Broadband (Part 2, 1992)

Monday
Mar172008

Australia Telecom's Broadband (Part 2, 1992)


Part 2 of the 1992 Australia Telecom concept video Broadband demonstrates teleconferencing via videophone, as well as encrypted data transfer.

 



Oh, and scary metal walkways of the future. Don't forget the walkways.

 


Stay tuned for part 3, coming soon.

See also:
Australia Telecom's Broadband (Part 1, 1992)